Opinion | Voice of the Reader: Get rid of nuclear weapons
It has not been widely publicized, but currently a conference under United Nations auspices is underway to develop a legally binding prohibition against all nuclear weapons. The Draft of the UN Treaty to ban nuclear weapons would commit signers to “never use nuclear weapons and never develop, manufacture, or otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear devises.” The draft treaty also prohibits all nuclear test explosions.
The United States and the other nuclear-armed powers have boycotted this conference, despite the fact that almost all of them signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, under which the nuclear powers agreed to pursue nuclear disarmament, in return for the non-nuclear states agreement not to acquire them. As the first nation to develop nuclear weapons, and the only one ever to actually use them, the United States has a particularly important role to play in these discussions, but how can the U.S. have an impact on them if it does not even participate?
Beatrice Finn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has stated that “Nuclear weapons are morally unacceptable. They are intended to kill civilians indiscriminately. Their continued existence undermines the moral credibility of every country that relies on them.”
Gary K. Shepherd